Eight Ways to Help You Embrace Retirement


You have just retired from your job after working for 40 years. How do you switch off from work to retirement mode? If you have been defined by your work, then retirement becomes challenging. You might wonder how to fill your time. And if you have not cultivated an enjoyable relationship with your partner, you may wonder how spending so much time together will affect your relationship.

The following tips could help you ease into a life of retirement.

Accept your emotions

Don’t deny your emotions. If you feel sad, anxious, uncertain, angry, or a mix of emotions, acknowledge what you’re feeling. Talk to friends who have traveled the road before you and you’ll find that it is normal to experience these feelings. Accept the feelings, and in time they will pass away. Engaging in physical exercise, reading, and writing are some of the healthy ways you can deal with these feelings. You could also try yoga or tai chi.

Introduce order and structure

Before retirement, you used to wake up at set times and go off to work. You used to take your lunch break at a set time, and so on. Your days were structured. Introduce the same structure into your retirement days. Don’t let a day just run into another with no plan. Wake up at set times, and have regular times for exercise, meals, social and other activities. Meet up with friends regularly.

Everybody’s schedule will be different, but it’s important to have order, structure, and purpose in your days. It gives you something to look forward to.

Strengthen and widen your social networks

Cultivate new social networks. You might enjoy gardening, reading, crocheting, or other hobbies. Search out groups that meet in person or even online to share ideas on your interests.

At the same time, if possible, stay connected with colleagues in your profession and join professional networks. You might find that there are networks in your community for retired teachers, nurses, people who served in the uniformed forces, and so on.

Set new goals and find new purpose in life

Your new goals could be reading the books you haven’t had time to read during your working life. It could be losing 10 pounds, or visiting family or friends in another part of the country or of the world. Get involved in activities that add meaning and joy to your life. That could mean spending time with your grandchildren or giving serious attention to a fulfilling hobby. Accomplishing goals can give you great satisfaction and a sense of achievement.

Find a part-time job

You could transition into retirement by switching to part-time work. You could start by reducing the number of hours you work at your current job, or you could find a part-time job elsewhere. You could go into a less stressful occupation. Apart from supplementing your income, this keeps you socially connected. Researchers associated with Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, USA, found that retirees who did this enjoyed better mental and physical health.


Giving time for the benefit of others and your community adds meaning to your life. It’s an opportunity for you to learn new skills, to teach others new skills, and to stay connected with people. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps your brain active and engaged. You are less likely to suffer depression when you volunteer.

Volunteering opportunities abound in the community. You could volunteer at your local library, a children’s home, a charitable body, a hospital, and so on.

Exercise both your body and your brain

Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Exercise relieves stress, gives you energy, and guards against disease, among other benefits. Your brain also needs stimulation. Find new ways of doing what you enjoy. If you enjoy cooking, try out new recipes; if you enjoy gardening, grow your own vegetables or plant interesting exotic plants. Learn a new skill, do word games, and try your hand at puzzles. Challenging your brain protects it from intellectual decline and memory loss.

Get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet 

Address any sleep issues you may have. While it’s normal for your sleeping patterns to change with age, you should still get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and energetic. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Drink alcohol in moderation and stop smoking. Heavy drinking and smoking put you at risk of developing dementia. In addition, smoking hampers blood circulation, putting you at risk of stroke, cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

Bottom line

Life comes in seasons. Retirement is one of them. Adjust your attitude and embrace the changes that come with this season of your life. Even if retirement came unexpectedly, do not give in to despair. Focus on what you’re gaining – for example, freedom to pursue other interests, or to spend more time with your grandchildren. Embrace this season of your life.




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